Football fans will find a virtual stadium, NFL team-specific maps, and specialized game modes in the new world built within Fortnite Creative.
On Thursday, the NFL announced a new metaverse experience within the Fortnite universe: NFL Zone.
At a central location known as “The Hub,” players will witness virtual tailgates, a virtual stadium, minigames, and portals to separate maps inspired by individual NFL teams that will host a “Seek and Sack,” a gridiron spin on the Fortnite Search and Destroy game mode. The first team-inspired map will showcase the San Francisco 49ers, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants among the several teams in line for the same treatment in the months to come.
NFL Zone is presented by Visa, the league’s payment services technology partner.
“Fortnite has become one of the go-to destinations for audiences seeking immersive, social experiences, and we see a massive opportunity to bring NFL football to a new generation of fans with NFL Zone,” Ed Kiang, VP of Video Gaming at the NFL, said in an official release. “Through developing a robust catalog of content with top gaming personalities and pairing it with a persistent presence in the metaverse, we’ll be able to grow generational fandom off the field and enhance the connection audiences have with NFL football.”
As part of the experience, NFL Zone will feature content creators on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube to promote the new game. The creators will have their wins tracked on a leaderboard, and the participants with the most points will be crowned champion.
This marks the latest NFL venture into the metaverse following a partnership with Roblox to create NFL Tycoon, which was announced in February. The game was created in hope of teaching the business side of football while providing a platform for emerging social connectivity. The league had previously collaborated with Fortnite creator Epic Games to bring NFL avatar skins from the NFL’s 32 franchises to the game.
“NFL Zone is a great example of the amazing experiences created and published to millions of players in Fortnite every day,” said Matthew Henick, VP, Metaverse Development for Epic Games. “The NFL has used Fortnite’s openly available Creative toolset to build a persistent, social, and immersive experience that we can’t wait to see evolve over the course of this NFL season and beyond.”
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